It looked like 2015 was going to be the season that everyone started to learn about Seranthony Dominguez. Unfortunately, after throwing 96 in extended camp, Dominguez went off to pitch for the GCL Phillies, made one start and one relief appearance and went down for the rest of the season with an injury. While the injury cost Dominguez considerable development time, he was able to pitch in the Florida Instructional League following the season and came into camp last year with the same blazing velocity that he had shown the previous season.
While the velocity was still there, Dominguez had cleaned up his mechanics and looked to be throwing more freely than he had in the past. He also gained a little more control of his pitches and that carried through the 2016 season as his walks-per-nine fell from 3.9 to 3.3 between his stops with Williamsport and Lakewood. Meanwhile, he came into the season averaging 6.7 strikeouts-per-nine and raised that to an even strikeout per inning in 2016.
Dominguez prefers to pretty much live and die with the fastball, and because his secondary pitches are good, but still developing, Dominguez has some people thinking that he may eventually profile as a reliever, potentially a closer. With the improvement on the secondary pitches though it appears that Dominguez is poised to stay in minor league rotations.
In addition to the fastball, Dominguez throws a curve that has shown a lot of promise. It has the potential to become perhaps significantly above average as he continues to work with the pitch. The change-up is above average and he has a good feel for throwing it without tipping off hitters that it's coming, thanks to maintaining consistent mechanics and arm speed.
2017 will be the first season that Dominguez will face a full-season workload, whether he starts at Lakewood or gets a quick pass to Clearwater. How he and his velocity will hold up over the longer grind of a full season is going to be a test for the 6' 1", 185 pounder. If he can continue to pitch well, maintain his velocity and continue the development of his secondary pitches, Dominguez has the potential to shoot up prospect lists and move quickly through the minor league maze.
Because of the velocity, hitters generally can't consistently pull pitches against Dominguez. Right-handed batters tend to roll over on his pitches and produce groundballs when they attempt to pull him, while left-handed hitters have a little more success pulling Dominguez, but not much.
Spray chart vs LHB
Spray chart vs RHB
Dominguez also has the ability to keep the ball down in the zone and has some downward break to his fastball, leading to a lot of groundballs. Of the pitches that hitters were able to put into play last season, 65% resulted in groundballs.
There is no denying that Dominguez has a lot going for him, but he still has some holes that need some patching. Developing the off-speed pitches is the key and being able to command all of his pitches is a close second. This season should tell a lot more about Dominguez because of the added work load that he'll have. It will also be somewhat telling where the Phillies start Dominguez to open the season. There's no shame in him returning to Lakewood, since he started just 10 games there, but if he opens with Clearwater, the signs point to the organization having confidence in him to handle better hitters even with a relatively small sample size at Lakewood.
Seranthony Dominguez career stats
|All Levels (5 Seasons)||17||16||2.93||58||39||2||242.1||1.230||7.3||0.4||3.8||7.3||1.94|